Our August Guest Blog is by Richard Console, an attorney with Console & Hollawell, P.C., in Marlton, New Jersey.
When you become a parent, your main goal is to have your children grow up safe and healthy. However, many times parents are not aware of serious dangers lurking in their homes that can shatter that dream in moments. One such hazard is furniture that tips or falls on top of a child and causes serious injury or death.
Children are curious and with that peaked interest comes their need to explore. You may think that your home is child-proof, but all it takes is your child attempting to climb a piece of furniture and tragedy can strike.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a report stating that every two weeks a child dies as the result of falling furniture in the United States. The CPSC went on to report that from 2000 to 2008 they received nearly 200 reports of a child under eight dying and more than 16,000 reports of a child under five being injured as a result of these accidents.
Recognizing the danger and taking steps to reduce the risk could save your child’s life.
Step 1: Purchase Stable Furniture
If you are in the market for new furniture, you should make sure that what you buy is sturdy. Furniture that can wiggle and tip easily poses a greater risk to children.
Step 2: Anchor Furniture to Wall
All of your large furniture should be mounted to the wall. There are furniture anchors that you can purchase at your local hardware store. The furniture should be secured even if you don’t think your child can tip it. Your child may climb it in a manner which causes the furniture to move, shake, or tip so it is imperative that you ensure the pieces cannot move.
Step 3: Place TVs and Other Large Appliances on Proper Furniture
Often times, people will use furniture in a manner that it was not made for. For example putting a TV on a night stand or snack table may be a money-saving option, but those pieces of furniture are not made to withstand the bulk of a TV. Placing large electronics on the wrong furniture could be deadly for your child.
Step 4: Remove All Toys from High Places
If your child sees a toy of theirs in a high place there is a greater chance that they will attempt to retrieve it. To prevent this urge, toys should never be places on top of high furniture.
Step 5: Keep Electrical Cords Out Of Reach
All electrical cords should be kept tucked away where your child cannot reach them. If they are able to get a hold of cords and pull on them, the device can fall on top of them.
Step 6: Educate Your Child
Parents must be diligent in enforcing safety rules, including telling children they cannot climb on furniture.
When a child has been injured, it can be a truly devastating time. The situation can be made worse if the accident was the result of someone else’s negligent actions.
Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/09/prevent-a-tv-fall-in-your-house/